Meghan Markle is most famous for her role in Suits and just recently for becoming Prince Harry’s fiancée. But unbeknownst to many, the future Duchess of Sussex was already fighting sexism at the tender age of 11. Inside Edition dug up an old video of Markle slamming an Ivory Dishwashing Liquid ad for a line implying that washing dishes is exclusively a woman’s chore. The line Markle criticized as sexist started with, “women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans.” The clip was taken from an episode of Nick News with Linda Ellerbee, a popular TV show that aired on Nickelodeon in the early 90s. The clip also shows a young Meghan Markle writing a letter to the president of Proctor & Gamble requesting that they change the wording of the ad.
Meghan Markle and other students were watching television in 1993 when the advertisement came on. Knowing that doing the dishes is not a chore that should be relegated to women, she criticized the ad within hearing of the other students. When two male classmates joked that women belong in the kitchen, Markle felt an obligation to speak out.
Markle recalled in her 2015 speech to the United Nations that her father advised her to write a letter to Proctor & Gamble, lawyer Gloria Allred, journalist and Nick News host Linda Ellerbee, and then first lady Hillary Clinton.
After a few weeks, Meghan Markle received letters of encouragement from Clinton and Allred, as reported by Associated Press. Before long, Ellerbee sent her camera crew from Nick News to Markle’s house so they can interview the young feminist.
“I don’t think it is right for kids to grow up thinking that mom does everything,” she told Nick News. “If you see something that you don’t like or are offended by on television or any other place, write letters and send them to the right people and you can really make a difference, not just for yourself but for lots of other people.”
Within a month after she sent her letter, Proctor & Gamble changed the tagline to “people all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans,” as Markle recalled in her UN speech. For the young Markle, it was not just a victory for feminism, it was also undeniable proof that one voice can make a difference.
Her 2015 speech for the UN was delivered as part of her duty as an “advocate for political participation and leadership.”
“It was absolutely clear that this young woman was strong in her beliefs,” Ellerbee told Inside Edition. “It didn’t matter that she was 11-years-old. She believed in women and she believed in her own power and wasn’t afraid to reach out and say, ‘I want my power. I want my rights.'”